As of... just now (20 May 2019), the site setting for minimum question age should be active and we've added IPS back to the HNQ list with one question at a time.
Please keep me updated on how things are going. Thank you so much for hanging in there with us. It's been a hard six months and I'm really excited to see how this changes the traffic here on IPS. If there's any questions, let me know.
Thanks to all of you for weighing in here. We hear you and we're going to make this change pretty soon - apologies for the delay and the imprecise plans but let me tell you about it.
There's one element that didn't get shipped with the HNQ update that I think will really help all sites - but particularly IPS - be successful in their HNQ presentation to the network.
If you've ever had a question or answer hit the HNQ list, you may recognize this chain of events:
- User A post a question.
- User B posts an answer very soon after (and users C and D may, too).
- Question and answer get several upvotes from the community.
- Question hits the HNQ list within 15 minutes of being asked.
This sounds great, right?
If you said "no", you might understand where I'm going. It's quite common that the question described above is off topic or too broad or unclear but other users are willing to answer the question because it looks easy. Sometimes it can take hours for five people to close that question and, in the interim, there it sits on the HNQ list.
Now, you say... "but the moderators can just kick it out, right?" and the answer is, yes, they can... if they're around and notice or it gets flagged they can unilaterally close the post to remove it from the HNQ list without preventing it from showing up there if it's reopened again (assuming the issues are fixed). But what if they're not around?
Y'all have a great collection of moderators and you'll have another mod added to the roster in a couple of months but, even then, you don't have 24-hour coverage... and a lot of this closing and editing should be done by users, not the mods - we don't want to overburden your mods with this.
So, what's the magic change that makes all of this less of an issue?
Setting a minimum age for posts before they're eligible for the HNQ list.
This gives users on a site the chance to edit the post so that it's suitable for the potential network-wide consumption or close it if it's eligible for closure - and to even get it edited and reopened! It also gives the experts on site the chance to vote on - or even delete - answers. Essentially, more eyeballs will mean it's less likely that a problematic post will make it to the HNQ list. For your moderators, there's a reduced need for constant vigilance when you've got a, say, six-hour delay before a complicated question can start causing problems.
I'm really hoping the wait on this will be relatively short I can't promise a timeline but I can promise that I'll keep you updated on the status.